A lifelong reader of murder mysteries, I am enamored of the authors and sleuths of detective fiction’s Golden Age. My inaugural series, featuring professional researcher and Scottish historian Elle Cunningham Mackay, is an homage to these masters—with a little modern sensibility mixed in. Elle’s Scottish-flavored whodunnits will immerse you in a world of kilts, bagpipes, Highland games and haggis.
I have several other series currently in the works. The Arca Noctis trio of thrillers stars curiosity store owner Emery Vaughn. The Haunts & Hollows series of paranormal roadtrip guides provides the reader with a state-by-state atlas to real life Southern Gothic locales. Last, a pair of Golden Age mystery series features sleuth and former spy Mafalda Marchand and village vicar James Valentine.
How far would you go to unmask a killer hiding in plain sight?
Five years ago, handyman Duncan Scott was convicted of the brutal murder of single mother Shona Mackay. After his unexpected release from prison throws his sleepy North Carolina hometown into an uproar, threats of violence follow, and Duncan’s newfound freedom is quickly cut short by a competition pitchfork stolen from the Highland games.
When researcher and historian Elle Cunningham Mackay’s ex-husband—Shona’s oldest son—is implicated in what appears to be a clear case of small-town justice, she jumps into action to protect his reputation and ensure his daughter Paige doesn’t lose her father. Elle’s ex may be a philanderer, but he’s no murderer. As she begins diving into the family’s past to uncover the truth, she finds clue after clue that leads to an uncomfortable conclusion: Duncan was innocent.
Then, another suspicious death hits close to home, making it clear that someone in their community will go to any extreme to keep the truth buried. Will Elle uncover the shocking secret that connects these murders, or will she risk alienating herself from the town she loves—and becoming the real murderer’s next target—to exonerate a convicted killer?
Buy Off Scot Free and follow Elle as she investigates Scottish-flavored mysteries that will immerse you in a work of the Highlands, kilts, bagpipes, and haggis.
Haunts & Hollows: Georgia Backroads is a paranormal road trip guide offering you step by step directions to more than 80 haunted, historic, and hallowed locations across the Peach State. Explore documented ghost sightings, infamous ruins, cryptid environs, and forgotten family grave sites.
From the Silent Ghost of St. Marys and the Standing Grave of Abram Simon to Surrency Horror and the Hanging Man in the Clayton Square, each stop includes history, personal accounts and more about the darkest corners of the South.
Part of the ever-growing library of Haunts & Hollows travel guides.
For author and historian Elle Cunningham Mackay, six weeks on Cape Fear’s Roan Island is a desperately needed second chance. When her host and former flame Stuart MacUspaig invites her to his historic Aldermire estate, she jumps at the opportunity to research first-hand the disappearing Scottish clans who settled North Carolina.
She soon realizes that Stuart has something more in mind, and his offer comes with complicated strings. After too many questionable choices—not to mention a failed marriage, a pink slip and a criminal record, Elle knows she is running out of options.
When Stuart is found brutally murdered, Elle fears that her past mistakes may finally be catching up with her. Relying only on her keen mind and mile-wide stubborn streak, Elle races to find his killer. As the body count grows, her only hope is to mend her ways and make a new start or she risks becoming collateral damage in the extinction of Clan MacUspaig.
It was an era of exotic poisons and smoking pistols. Of unbreakable alibis and elaborate charades. Of shrewd spinster sleuths and effete gentleman detectives.
Nestled comfortably between the First and Second World Wars, the Golden Age of Detective Fiction captivated readers with twisty tales of murder and mystery. The crime is presented as a game—a puzzle with all its pieces and players left on the table. Nothing is hidden, and the solution is in plain sight, if one only knows where to look.
This brief guide offers a curated list of ten of the most prolific and influential writers from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. While today some names may be more familiar than others, in his or her prime each was a creative force from the earliest days of the murder mystery craze. The guide also includes three titles by each author that shouldn’t be missed.
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